Raising Awareness During Distracted Driving Month In April
While multitasking may be an efficient and effective way of eliminating tasks off your to do list, there are certain situations which demand your complete attention. Anytime you are driving, it is important to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel at all times. Not doing so increases your risk for car accidents and injuries.The month of April is designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and it challenges motorists to avoid doing any activity while driving that could put you or others in danger.
Florida’s Focus On Driving Campaign
According to statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), close to 50,000 car accidents occur due to distracted driving in our state each year. More than 600 of these were in Manatee County alone, which averages to nearly two each day. As part of their efforts to combat the problem and raise awareness, the Focus on Driving Florida campaign provides information and resources for residents to share during April and throughout the year. They advise that there are three common types of distractions that can put drivers, their passengers, and other road users at risk:
- Visual distractions, which require a driver to take their eyes off the road;
- Manual distractions, which require drivers to take their hands off the wheel;
- Cognitive distractions, which are any activity which diverts your attention from the task at hand.
Texting is one of the most dangerous activities you can partake in while driving as it involves all three types of distractions. While texting and driving is illegal and there is a new law which aims at increasing punishments, there are other behaviors just as risky that drivers need to be aware of.
Protecting Yourself Against Distracted Driving Car Accidents
The National Safety Council warns that diverting your attention from the wheel or from the road in front of you for even a few seconds is long enough to cause a car accident to occur. Road, traffic, and weather conditions can all change and if you are not focused, your reflex and response times are likely to be inadequate. Along with texting or using your cellphone to make calls while driving, other behaviors to avoid include the following:
- Using your phone or other electronic device to take pictures or videos;
- Posting to social media or checking emails;
- Eating fast food and drinking coffee or other beverages;
- Putting on makeup or combing your hair in the rear view mirror;
- Reaching for objects that have fallen or are in the backseat;
- Giving too much of your attention to passengers in the vehicle;
- Updating GPS settings or changing car radio stations.
Unfortunately, despite your best intentions distracted driving accidents can still occur. When they do, reach out and contact the Law Office of Steven G. Lavely. We can arrange a one on one consultation with our Bradenton car accident attorney, who can advise you on the best course of action in your case.